Saturday, April 25, 2009
Now if This Isn't Eco-Friendly...
I don't know what is!
I love Spring. The blooming of the crocuses which leads to daffodils and then to tulips. The pink and white dogwood trees sprouting their delicate blossoms and the streets lined with pink cherry blossoms that create pink blizzards when the wind howls through.
But nothing ruins Spring more quickly for me than the sight of the first noxious yellow flowers of Scotch Broom. In the Pacific Northwest, Scotch Broom is that ubiquitous green shrub that grows in the median of I-5 for hundreds of miles through Washington and Oregon. It shows up on hillsides everywhere, pushed out only by the more-noxious blackberry bushes in every scrubby area. The pollen that comes from these neon-yellow pea relatives clogs my tear ducts and makes me sneeze incessantly. I can catch the scent of a Scotch Broom plant on the slightest breeze even if the plant itself is miles away. To the person responsible for bringing this horrid non-native plant to our area, I say, "NO THANK YOU!!"
So something like this does my heart good. Eradicating non-native species without toxic chemicals or heavy machinery seems too good to be true, doesn't it? Apparently all it takes is a herd of hungry goats. This guy is a genius. He rents his goats to municipalities and individual landowners alike. These sixty goats can eat all of the vegetation in a half acre plot in just three days, leaving only sticks, some roots and a some goat manure in their wake. If there is litter mixed in with the weeds, they'll eat that, too. The goat poo is great for the soil and all you have to do is cover the area with cardboard or old newspapers until the roots die and plant new native plants (or whatever else you want). No toxins. No chemicals. No exhaust released in to the air.
My joy at seeing Spring is restored simply by looking at the before and after photos of the Scotch Broom these guys laid waste to in the city of Seattle. I wonder if I can "adopt a highway" by renting some goats to mow the noxious weeks alongside for me....